CIVIC ENGAGEMENT report indicators In this Report Voting Campaign Donations Contact with Local Government 311 Requests-For-Service Census Response Rates Charitable Contributions Non-profits and Foundations Civic Group Membership Union Membership Religious Attendance and Affiliation Volunteering Employment at a Non-profit Employment in Local Government Barriers to Community Engagement Willingness to Improve Neighborhoods
Cover Photograph: nayrb7
DRAFT ** NOT FOR CIRCULATION ** DRAFT
Civic Engagement Report
YOUTH & EDUCATION
PUBLIC SAFETY HEALTH
ARTS & CULTURE
ARTS & CULTURE
DRAFT ** NOT FOR CIRCULATION ** DRAFT How do we fare when we look at traditional measures of civic engagement such as voting and campaign donations?2
Although the percentage of Brooklynites voting in presidential elections is increasing, we are still well below the national average for the last three elections (63.0% in 2008, 60.6% in 2004 and 54.2% in 2000).6 Midterm election turnout was low for eligible Brooklyn voters, reaching only 26.1% for the November 2010 election.7
Differences among Brooklyn neighborhoods are evident in voter registration and actual voting. Only 63.0% of eligible residents are registered to vote in Community District 4 (Bushwick),8 while Community District 5 (East New York among other neighborhoods) has 104.8% of its eligible residents registered.9 Brooklynites overwhelmingly choose Democrat (71.6%) as their party affiliation followed by Republican (9.2%), Independent (2.1%), and then with less than 1% each, Conservative, Working Families, Green, and Libertarian.10 16.2% of registered Brooklynites select no party affiliation.11 [See Map 1]
of eligible Brooklynites are registered voters3,4 & 5
80% Registered Voters
50.4% Voted in 2008 Presidential Election 47.4% Voted in 2004 Presidential Election 44.7% Voted in 2000 Presidential Election
Looking at the 2008 presidential election, a high point for voter turnout nationwide, voting patterns vary widely in the borough. In Community District 11 (Bensonhurst and Bath Beach), only 32.3% of eligible voters voted in the election, the borough’s lowest turn out by Community District.12 The highest participation rate (67.6%) was in Community District 3 (Bedford Stuyvesant).13 [See Map 2]
Map 1: Eligible Registered Voters and Party Affiliation Percent of Brooklyn Citizens Age 18 and Above Registered to Vote (2011)*
Democrat and Republican Party Affiliation for Brooklynites Registered To Vote by Election District (2011)** Democrats
1 Dot = 100 Registered Voters
102.9 % 79.5 %
93.7% 81.2% 91.5%
75.6% 66.5% 76.3%
Data Sources: New York State Board of Elections (2011); 2008-2010 Amrican Community Survey * Voter registration percentages may be inflated (to over 100% in some cases) as voters are not removed from rolls until they have not voted in 2 major elections. ** Election District boundries not shown, Community District boundries are for reference only
2012 Brooklyn Brooklyn Trends Report Trends
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Percent of Brooklyn Citizens Age 18 and Above Who Voted in the 2008 Presidential Election
Percent of Brooklyn Adults with Non-Citizen Status (2008-2010)
Data Source: Center for Urban Research (2008)
Data Source: 2008-2010 American Community Survey
But here’s the thing about voting- it only reflects the voices and concerns of those who are able to, and do, participate. Although demographic data about voters are not available for Kings County (Brooklyn), voters often tend to have higher levels of education and income, and are older. Given the demographics of those who are actually voting, particular interests may be overrepresented, while other interests might be overlooked. Furthermore, disenfranchised Brooklynites (for example, those adults who are not eligible to vote due to non-citizen status, which is 20.5% of Brooklynites14, or because they are in prison or on parole for a felony conviction are often from neighborhoods where there is less access to services such as quality healthcare or education, or more concerns about public safety. [See Map 3] These distressed communities in Brooklyn need more voices engaged in the political process, not less. Let’s consider campaign donations as another traditional proxy for civic engagement. For the 2009 New York City elections (which included races for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President and City Council), campaign donations varied substantially by Brooklyn neighborhood. For example, within the 11201 zip code, which aligns with the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn, total donations exceeded $1 million (or $22.50 per person), while the second highest donations ($597,103 or $9.48 per person) came from zip code 11215, which includes the neighborhoods of Gowanus and Park Slope.15 Starrett City and Spring Creek (zip code 11239) had the lowest total donations–a mere $12,515 (or $0.86 per person).16 If there is a correlation between financial support and whether a Civic Engagement Report
Brooklynite Party Affiliations9
DRAFT ** NOT FOR CIRCULATION ** DRAFT Endnotes Ehrlich, Thomas, Ed. (2000). Civic Responsibility and Higher Education. New York: Oryx Press.
2 Statistical Considerations: Please note that data based on samples are subject to margins of error that due to space and aesthetic considerations are not included in the Brooklyn Trends Report. Indicators that present year-to-year change have not been tested for statistical significance. In order to improve the validity of the data presented in the Brooklyn Trends Reports, the Center for the Study of Brooklyn often uses 3-Year Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and, where relevant, averages 3 years of data for each indicator from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (NYC DOHMH) Community Health Survey (CHS). For any questions about data interpretation, margins of error or statistical significance, please contact the Center for the Study of Brooklyn. 3 New York State Board of Elections (2011). Voter Enrollment by Election District Kings County, April 2011. Retrieved from http://www.elections. ny.gov/2011EnrollmentED.html. Voter registration percentages may be inflated (to over 100% in some cases) as voters are not removed from rolls until they have not voted in two major elections. Rates calculated by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn using population estimates from the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. In the case where indicators are derived from the United States (U.S.) Census Bureau data sets (referred to as U.S. Census 2000, 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2008-2010 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, and 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates), the data sets were retrieved from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota: usa.ipums.org/usa. Unless otherwise noted, all Census data sets are from the Minnesota Population Center. The full citation for all Census data is: Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek (2011). Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machinereadable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2011. In all following endnotes when Census data are referenced, only the year(s) is (are) given.
Center for Urban Research, John Mollenkopf, Director. Rates calculated by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn using population estimates from the 2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates.
5 New York State Board of Elections (2012). President and Vice President Election Returns, Nov 7 2000 and President and Vice President Election Returns, Nov 2 2004. Retrieved from http://www. elections.ny.gov/2000ElectionResults.html and http://www.elections.ny.gov/2004ElectionResults. html; Rates calculated by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn using population estimates from the U.S. Census 2000 and 2006-2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates.
Center for the Study of the American Electorate, American University (2012). African-Americans, Anger, Fear and Youth Propel Turnout to Highest Level Since 1960. Retrieved from http://www. american.edu/spa/cdem/csae.cfm.
New York State Board of Elections (2012). Lt. Governor Election Returns November 2, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.elections. ny.gov/2010ElectionResults.html. Rates calculated by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn using population estimates from the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.
The Center for the Study of Brooklyn acknowledges that the number of Brooklyn neighborhoods, their names and boundaries vary from source to source. We’ve used the New York City Department of City Planning’s (NYC DCP) New York: A City of Neighborhoods Citywide Index Map from 2011 as the source for the neighborhoods listed in the Brooklyn Trends Report. New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) (2011). New York, A City of Neighborhoods Citywide Index Map. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/ dcp/html/neighbor/neigh.shtml. When referring to a statistic for a particular Community District within the text of the report, we do not always include all the neighborhoods in a Community District for space considerations. Please use the Brooklyn Neighborhoods by Community District (CD) map as a reference for all the neighborhoods for a particular Community District statistic cited in the report.
New York State Board of Elections (2011). Voter Enrollment by Election District Kings County, April 2011. Retrieved from http://www.elections. ny.gov/2011EnrollmentED.html. Rates calculated by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn using population estimates from the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Voter registration percentages may be inflated (to over 100% in some cases) as voters are not removed from rolls until they have not voted in two major elections.
New York State Board of Elections (2011). Voter Enrollment by County, Kings County, April 2011.